I skipped the past couple of months in the Turning to Food series thanks to the Summer season. My schedule, food choices, and everything in between were completely thrown out of the window the day school ended in May. I’m so thankful to finally rejoin my food addiction series today.
New additions will now be titled more descriptively of their particular content. However, they will all continue to be tagged with Turning to Food for easier access to the entire series at once. This is a great way if you are new here to go back and read about some of the different programs I’ve tried.
A few months ago, I saw a documentary on BBC from Dr. Michael Mosley about the incredible health benefits of fasting. Apparently after just 12 hours of food restriction, your body starts rapidly repairing itself, along with many other fascinating benefits. My body is definitely in desperate need of repair so I immediately bought Dr. Mosley’s book, The Fast Diet.
He shares many studies and facts about the perks of fasting. Here are the basics and most exciting: (p.73-74, The Fast Diet)
- Weight loss
- Risk reduction of many age-related diseases, including cancer
- Repair genes turning on
- Increased insulin sensitivity, thanks to a resting pancreas, which serves to reduce risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cognitive decline
- Improvement in moods and your sense of well-being
The last point is incredibly important to me, as I have a great deal of mood related issues. This is far from the first time I’ve been made aware of the food-mind connection. Many of the previous programs of my Turning to Food series also showed me how my emotions are incredibly improved by my food choices.
The most important aspect of fasting for me is the spiritual one. I’ve always been fascinated by Christian fasting. Anything that will bring me closer to God is at the top of my list of life choices.
I’ll go into more of this next week when I discuss John Piper’s A Hunger for God. Sadly, I’ve chosen food over God for most of my life. This has led me to this raging food addiction that continues to consume me. While working through the fast diet over the past month or so, I’m learning I must depend on God more than ever before to break these final addiction chains.
The recommendations from Dr. Mosley and his cowriter Mimi Spencer are to fast for two days a week, not in a row. Their definition of fasting is at least 12 consecutive hours with no food, and to consume 500 calories per fasting day (600 for men). They discuss doing this by either one meal a day worth the entire calorie allotment or eating a small meal in the morning, followed by the remainder of the calories 12 hours later for dinner.
Ms. Spencer sometimes has a piece of fruit in between her meals, but Dr. Mosley seems to feel the benefits may be better by avoiding that. He uses the 2-meal method, while I have been trying the 1-meal option over the past several weeks. I feel this helps me not have to think about food as much, which is one of my biggest goals, to lose my food obsession.
This went surprisingly well for me the first few weeks. When my son’s birthday hit at the very end of July, I was suddenly surrounded by birthday cake and ice cream. We go a little crazy on birthdays in our house, making them last at least 2 weeks.
Anyway, I’m struggling to get back on the fast days as I detox from my sugar binge, but I’m not giving up on this program. Honestly, it’s one of my favorites out of the many you’ve seen me try over the past year. When I followed it properly, my moods and cravings were both dramatically improved. My husband was even incredibly impressed.
I’ll keep you updated on this one. I think it’s definitely a program of great possibility.
How are your health goals coming along this year? It’s more than halfway through my 2015 word of the year: Health. I’m determined to have a list of goals met in this area to share with you by December.